The People on Platform 5 by Clare Pooley

I was lucky enough to win a dedicated copy of ‘The People on Platform 5’ by Clare Pooley and I was so incredibly excited. Although I had been late to the party with ‘The Authenticity Project‘, only having read it about a year ago, I knew I could not leave ‘The People on Platform 5’ on my shelf for quite so long. So, I chose it for the prompt of ‘Joy’ from ‘The Unread Shelf Project 2023’.

And this book did bring me so much joy. As someone who commutes on the train everyday, I loved the idea that people on the train may not be afraid to speak to each other, and even form friendships. Clare Pooley creates a wonderful collection of characters who are thrown together by catching the same train every day. They may not seem like the usual people you would put together to make friends, but they help each other in different ways – and probably each needed the others even if they did not realise it.

Iona, almost the matriarch of the story, is one of the greatest characters to grace the pages of a book. She is definitely someone who proves that growing older does not mean that you have to give up on life. And she proves that to so many around her, with a little bit of help from her friends. (I quite like her rules for the commute too; I may have to employ some of them in my routine). There are so many fantastic people that Iona manages to bring together and support in realising how important or special they are in their own way. You will certainly enjoy finding out more about them, just as Iona does.

This is a fantastically uplifting read, leaving you feeling full of joy as you finish the final line. Just like ‘The Authenticity Project’, it is going to become a book that I recommend to so many people, because I want everyone to be able to be reminded that there is a lot of good in the world. And that it is never too late to aim for what you really want, or to make the change that will make you happy.

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